President assents to Contracts Bill

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has signed into law an Act of Parliament that bars the state from paying compound interest in transactions conducted by public officers on its behalf, graphic.gh.com reports.

The Contracts (Amendment) Act, 2023 (Act 1114), championed by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, in 2023, was endorsed by Parliament in July 2023. However, it was officially presented to the President for assent only on March 5, 2024, as per sources from the Daily Graphic.

 

The President granted his assent to the bill on March 8, 2024.

This legislation aims to curb the inclination of public officers to engage in contracts with exorbitant interest rates, particularly compound interest, which could lead to significant financial losses for the state.

The recent amendment to the Contracts Act (Act 1114) now prohibits public officers from brokering contracts on behalf of the state that involve compound interest.

Commenting on the President’s approval of the Bill, the Attorney-General highlighted that the amendment stemmed from his observations while defending the state in various substantial judgment debt cases.

He noted that many claims against the state were due to the accrual of compound interest, typically imposed and awarded by the courts.

In a separate development, the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) (Amendment) Bill, also initiated by the Attorney-General, has been presented in Parliament.

Having received Cabinet endorsement on February 2, 2024, the bill was laid in Parliament on Thursday, March 14, 2024, by the Attorney-General.

It underwent the first reading before being referred to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs for deliberation.

The bill proposes significant reforms to the criminal procedure laws, aiming to expedite the adjudication of criminal cases.

Key measures include abolishing trials on indictment except for cases punishable by death, allowing trials to proceed without the physical presence of the accused in court, and mandating day-to-day trials of criminal cases, among others.

Additionally, the bill advocates for witness examination via video conferencing, modernizing the jury trial system, and reducing exemptions from jury service, among other reforms.

 

 

ghanaweb.com

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